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In this activity, students simulate the interaction of variables, including carbon dioxide, in a radiation balance exercise using a spreadsheet-based radiation balance model. Through a series of experiments, students attempt to mimic the surface temperatures of Earth, Mercury, Venus and Mars, and account for the influence of greenhouse gases in atmospheric temperatures. The activity supports inquiry into the real-world problem of contemporary climate change. Student-collected data is needed from activity A in the same module, "How do atmospheres interact with solar energy?" to complete this activity. Included in the resource are several student data sheets and a teacher's guide. This activity is part of module 4, "How do Atmospheres Affect Planetary Temperatures?" in Earth Climate Course: What Determines a Planet's Climate? The course aims to help students to develop an understanding of our environment as a system of human and natural processes that result in changes that occur over various space and time scales.
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